born 1980

Growing up in Tehran, Rashin Kheiriyeh wanted to be a painter like her mother. At 16, she refused to go anywhere but art school, where she fell in love with illustration. Her eye for Persian patterns + fascination with fairy tales led to a career of publishing more than 50 picture books ~ in ten countries. Plus, a credit for creating Iran's most popular animated series Sugarland.

Since moving to the US in 2011, Rashin has continued her award-winning work as an illustrator, animator, painter + author. Her new goal? To bring the wit + timeless messages of the Persian literature she grew up with to kids all over the world. These stories, she says, "need to be retold, and understandable and digestible for modern society."

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Rashin Kheiriyeh (17)

"I didn't want to paint about the politics problem in Iran, just paint women [who] don't like to pay attention to the news."

Iranian Artist Shows Window into Her World | december 2011

"I want to paint peaceful things, and show the beauty of Iran. I will try to paint something about hope."

Iranian Artist Shows Window Into Her World | december 2011

"No matter how much the merchant cared for and tended to his parrot, the colorful bird seemed sad."

Two Parrots | june 2014

"Sometimes you want to paint your imagination, your fantasy . . . you want to tell your own story."

The Persian Book: Animation and Illustration | june 2014

"The black cat is kind of my sign in most of my picture books. I just use it as a playful character."

'Two Parrots' by Local Author Rashin Kheiriyeh is Fun and Feathery | july 2014

"I saw some things in adult sections related to Iran—mostly about politics, but I couldn't find anything in the children's sections and none of the stories I'd grown up with. So I thought maybe my first book should be a story from Iran that introduces my culture to the kids here."

discover...Rashin | march 2015

"Everything about children's literature makes me amazed."

discover...Rashin | march 2015

"I love the way Rumi looked at society, his logic. He wrote in the 13th Century. His poems are fun because there's always a hidden meaning."

discover...Rashin | march 2015

"When I'm very sad, and I actually start to paint, the sadness is gone. Sometimes it's the physical action of drawing, or it can be the colors. Sometimes the individual thing that came from my imagination at that moment is a surprise. Sometimes, I draw a funny character and that makes me laugh."

discover...Rashin | march 2015

"The relationship between you and the image you're painting—It's like it's alive and talking to you. Like a friend."

discover...Rashin | march 2015

"There are some things, some messages that come from the culture. But sometimes you censor yourself because you're afraid you won't like it, or somebody won't like it."

discover...Rashin | march 2015

"Just do what you have to do next, and good things will happen."

discover...Rashin | march 2015

"There are a lot of great artists who never leave their studios, which I don't think is good. There are many artists who are better than I am, but they aren't as visible."

discover...Rashin | march 2015

"When you get feedback on your work, you know better how to grow up in your profession."

discover...Rashin | march 2015

"Read a lot of fiction. That will help you find great visual things in your imagination."

discover...Rashin | march 2015

"You have to practice with your eyes, understanding the elements of what makes a good illustration. Drawing is also a daily practice. I'm always sitting here sketching something—otherwise, when I go to work, my drawing will be flat."

discover...Rashin | march 2015

"I have a sign in my studio—I wrote with big letters: ‘Don’t stop. Don’t give up.’ I look at it every day."

discover...Rashin | march 2015
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curated with care by Alicia Williamson